When we're young, we often think about 30 as the age when we need to have it all figured out. However, when that birthday is approaching, it can seem like we're not nearly as far into adulthood as we might hope. We may think that there are certain pieces of knowledge we ought to have at this point in our lives. If you're approaching this age, or want to start preparing early, here is a list of things that you should know. If you're past 30, it's never too later, find out what you need to catch up on.
30 Pieces of Financial Knowledge That Women Should Know By 30
- A woman can make it on her own financially, even if she doesn't have to.
- You need to keep your finger on your finances, even if you have a significant other who handles them.
- How you can deal with a personal financial crisis, like suddenly losing your job.
- How to make a budget and how to stick to it.
- How to set up an emergency fund and how to keep it full.
- How to read a bank statement and how to complain when something on it is wrong.
- How long it will take you to pay down any credit cards you have paying only the minimum balance.
- How debt collection and bankruptcy work, even if you're in a good financial place.
- How to get your taxes done every year without going crazy.
- How to establish credit in your own name, even if you also share credit cards with a spouse.
- How much risk you're prepared to tolerate in terms of investments.
- That you're going to need money for retirement at some point and you'll need strategies to save for it.
- How you're going to make up for any time you spend out of the work force, at least in terms of retirement.
- How much having a family costs, even if kids aren't in the cards.
- What legal protections are out there specifically for women, like whether your state has laws guaranteeing you maternity leave.
- How to negotiate a raise, even if it feels like you shouldn't ask for more money.
- How to leave a job you hate, preferably with another one lined up.
- How to get a copy of your credit report and how to dispute incorrect information on it.
- What cosigning a loan means - and when to refuse to do it.
- How to recognize the signs of identity theft and how to address them.
- What the pros and cons of owning a house versus renting an apartment.
- What your parents' retirement plans are and whether you're going to need to help them.
- Who is responsible for you and your finances if something makes you incapable of taking care of yourself.
- How to reach a lawyer, an accountant and an insurance agent, even if you don't routinely need their help.
- How to negotiate a big purchase (like a car or a house), even when the other side underestimates you.
- How to sell something you don't need any longer.
- What it would take for you to start your own business, even if you're not ready to make the leap.
- What your options for health insurance are and how to make the most of them, even when they're bad.
- Where to get financial information and advice that you trust.
- What your financial priorities are and what's the next step you need to take to reach them.
The Bottom Line
There aren't always classes you can take for learning these things. You may need to go figure out how to learn some of these things yourself, because they make a world of difference in how you can get from the ramen-every-night college era to something much better. Each of us will make very different financial decisions over the course of our lives, but having this knowledge will make those decisions much easier.